Grad Profile: N.J. Johnson

N.J. Johnson is a 2021 graduate from Scappoose, Oregon. He is majoring in Public Policy and Administration, with a minor in Organizational Leadership. N.J. has also served as ASWOU President, and he has received the title of Public Policy and Administration Student of the Year.


Why did you choose WOU? 

I chose WOU for the reasons many others did: from the moment I stepped onto campus, I was attracted to the small community feel and kindness of everyone I met. I liked the idea of having small classes where students could ask questions and engage in discussion with one another. Growing up in Scappoose, it was also the perfect distance from home for me.


What has been your most memorable class? 

My first year of college, I got to take a history class on women’s suffrage and the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Each student had individual research projects that we got to present at the Salem Capitol. My project was on Sylvia Thompson, Oregon’s third female state legislator who wrote the Joint Resolution that led to Oregon becoming the twenty-fifth state to ratify the 19th Amendment.


Student stand in forest, arms spread wide as he's smiling.
N.J. Johnson

What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?

I have served as ASWOU President, ASWOU Director of State and Federal Affairs, a campus Ambassador, an RA in Heritage Hall, a volunteer at the Food Pantry, NRHH Program & Finance Coordinator, an Alternative Break participant, and a math tutor.


Do you have any advice for current and prospective students? 

Every experience has the opportunity to be a learning experience.


What has been the highlight of your time at WOU?

Serving the students as ASWOU President. This has been an incredibly challenging year, but I have been so impressed at the resiliency of amazing student advocates during a time of such critical need for student representation on student issues.


What will you miss the most about WOU? 

I will miss the people so much. The students, faculty, and staff of all levels of the campus community are what make WOU the place it is. In my short four years at WOU, I’ve been lucky enough to build some forever relationships with several colleagues and classmates of mine.


Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?

On my first day, I got to my classroom 40 minutes early. There was a class going on before mine, but being a first year, I anxiously thought to myself, “well, I guess this is college,” and entered the room thinking my class had started early! I sat in there the rest of the period, despite realizing very early on that this was not my class. Oh, first year things.


What are your plans for after graduation? 

I am going to continue school and get my Master’s of Public Administration at Portland State University. With that, I want to work for a local government agency and eventually work my way up to being a city manager.

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